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New disc keeps your lolcats collection safe for a millennia

One of the things that most people don’t consider when they are pouring all of their digital photos and video onto a CD or DVD to save for the future is that optical media has a finite lifespan. In as little as three to five years all those photos safely tucked away on a DVD may be unreadable.

For those needing an optical media to store data or photos for archival purposes that will last much (much, much) longer than the lifespan of conventional DVDs and CDs a new startup company called Cranberry LLC has a new DVD that promises to be usable for 1,000 years called DiamonDisc. The disc uses standard DVD format, which means any old DVD player can read the data on the disc.

The DiamonDisc stores the standard 4.7GB of data that a single layer DVD can store. What allows the new disc media to last so long is that the discs don't use dyes, adhesive layers, or reflective materials that can deteriorate over time. The discs can also stand up to temperatures as high as 176 degrees.

Cranberry gets its claims of 1,000 years of viability from lab tests using the ECMA-379 temperature and humidity testing standards. Whereas the standard DVD has a silver or gold reflective surface, the DiamonDisc is transparent with no reflective layer.

The real catch with these discs is that you need a special DVD burner to be able to author them. The DVD burner needed for writing the special DVDs sells for $4,995 and includes 150 DiamonDiscs. The burner connects to any computer via a USB port. The company will also burn the discs for you for $34.95 for a single disc, $29.95 for two or more, or $149.75 for five discs.

With that price, the DiamonDiscs aren’t going to be that appealing to consumers. However, enterprise and government users may be intrigued in the medium for archival purposes. Cranberry reports that it is in talks with the U.S. Government to use the format for archival purposes.

Joe Beaulaurier, Cranberry's chief marketing officer said, "For the military, there's no heat, light, magnetic waves, or environmental abuse that will have an impact on these discs."


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RE: Eh?
By nvalhalla on 11/13/2009 11:18:45 AM , Rating: 1
Then you don't know anyone in the IT industry. Tape is ok, but it deteriorates and is a pain to work with. I would love one of these for at least a quarterly full backup.


RE: Eh?
By Yawgm0th on 11/13/2009 11:42:52 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
I would love one of these for at least a quarterly full backup.
The cost per GiB of these discs is $34.19. I work for an organization with relatively small IT needs, and doing a full quarterly backup using this media would cost us between $10,000 and $15,000 yearly. A larger organization with, say, five TiBs of data to backup would need multiple burners (never mind that there needs to be an automated version for it to be useful for backup and archival purposes) and the media cost would be $700,200/year doing quarterly backups. The media cost for Google at 850TiB would be $11.9m/year doing quarterly backups.

No, I don't see it as a viable archival solution unless the data must last a very long time and there is not very much of it. There are applications, yes, but the vast majority of IT departments would be wasteful to utilize a product like this.


RE: Eh?
By Spivonious on 11/13/2009 1:30:05 PM , Rating: 2
Every IT department I know of and have worked for uses tape. When the tape deteriorates, you buy new tape.


RE: Eh?
By Spuke on 11/13/2009 3:58:18 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Every IT department I know of and have worked for uses tape. When the tape deteriorates, you buy new tape.
The problem is that the tape deteriorates with your data on it. And tape is typically only good for around 3 writes and must be kept in a controlled environment in order for the data to be reliable. Most medium to large IT departments use hard disk backups nowadays. They're not that much money and are scalable. A hard drive dies, you just shove in a new one, your drive gets rebuilt and no data is lost. Also, you can restore and backup in realtime. Something you really can't so with tape.


RE: Eh?
By mindless1 on 11/14/2009 11:11:09 AM , Rating: 2
Careful using that word "most", because it isn't necessarily true. A backup needs to be kept offline, in a modular media type format not something where you plug connectors in.

You're talking about a better strategy for continual uptime on a server rather than it's backup.

Also, things can go awry with arrays, for many reasons including hardware failure before or during a rebuild, power surge, user error. It's suitable as one copy of the data but not all redundant copies.


"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA

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